I've been trying to piece together how this Khan Trump controversy started and I'm having trouble finding anything that isn't behind someone's media filter.

I watched Khan at the DNC but I didn't see Trumps initial reaction so I missed my chance to see it unedited. Near as I can tell it happened in Ohio. There were some tweets from Trump but then a statement was made by Trump about Khan. The quotes I'm finding only bother to attribute the statement to Trump. I'd like to know who the statements were made to, when (Monday?), where and as complete a transcript/video as can be found.

At this point I'm sure Trump has made many statements about this issue. I'm looking for the first one, be it at a rally or in an interview (but not the tweets).

  • 2
    Why not the tweets? That's where the controversy started.
    – Bobson
    Aug 3, 2016 at 15:59
  • 1
    @bobson Simply because that's not what I'm looking for. You can cite and quote the tweets to add context but those aren't what I can't find in full context. Most articals I read aren't quoting tweets. They're quoting statements "made by Trump on Monday in Ohio". Aug 3, 2016 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


There was an ABC News interview (transcript) with George Stephanopoulos that aired on This Week 7/31/2016, the day before his Ohio speech. It aired around 10:30am ET so I am assuming that it was recorded the day before. I say this as a qualification for being as close to his 'initial' public reaction as we can get.

Around the 14:30 mark of that interview came this exchange:

[clips of Khan's speech at DNC]

GS: He said you wouldn't have even let his son in America. He...

DT: He doesn't know that. I saw him, he was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say you tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say, a lot of people have said that, and, personally, I watched him, I wish him the best of luck George.

GS: What would you say to that father?

DT: Well I'd say we've had a lot of problems with radical Islamic terrorism, that's what I'd say. We have a lot of problems where you look at San Bernardino, you look at Orlando, you look at the World Trade Center, you look at so many different things, you look at what happened to the priest over the weekend in Paris where his throat was cut, 85 year old beloved Catholic priest, you look at what happened in Nice, France a couple of weeks ago, I'd say you got to take a look at that because somethings going on and it's not good.

GS: He said you have sacrificed nothing and no one.

DT: Well that sounds, who wrote that, did Hillary's script writers write it? Because everybody that went out there, we also had John Allen who failed with ISIS. I mean he was a General, Allen, General Allen, he went out, and he was ranting and raving and then I read a report. He was in there for a number of months and he failed with ISIS and he's telling me...

There is a bit more context about his reaction to Khan in the interview after talking about John Allen, but I wanted to include at least the start of the exchange as text in this answer.

  • 2
    Even reading this in transcript form, it's amazing that none of the answers actually address the questions as asked. Aug 4, 2016 at 17:57
  • @JoeTaxpayer The question, as I understand it, is basically what was Trump's initial reaction with as much context as possible, sans commentary. What more are you looking for besides a transcript of his initial reaction?
    – user5155
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:07
  • Jeff, you answered the question posted above, perfectly. But when I look at trumps responses I can only observe that he spoke but didn't actually address any of these questions. Aug 4, 2016 at 18:45
  • 2
    Ah, I see, sorry for misunderstanding. I agree, but there's a reason I think it is called 'politics' and not 'reasoned discussions'.
    – user5155
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:59
  • My wording was poor, your kindness is appreciated. Aug 4, 2016 at 20:43

You're not the only one with this question. Two blow-by-blow timelines can be found here and here. Based on them, this is the timeline:

7/28: Khizr Khan spoke at the DNC. His wife stood silently by his side.

7/29: Ghazala Khan, in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell, says she was too grief-stricken to want to speak.

7/30: Trump, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, said "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say." He also said other disparaging things. Clips are published that afternoon (presumably in the "Tune in to see the full interview" style).

7/31: The full interview airs. Criticism of Trump's remarks start coming out. Trump starts defending himself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .